Bulldog aggressiv behavior
Hi all, my question is about how to deal with my bully's aggressive tendencies. When we got Leonidas, he was one year old and we've had him for a few months now. When I picked him up from his previous owner, he was chained to a pole where he was kept all day and he slept in a small crate at night. He was kept with another small dog. He is a very sweet and affectionate dog who loves to play and be around people. However, there are times he gets very aggressive and snaps at my husband and I. He bit my husband and sent him to the doctor when he tried to put him outside. He tends to exhibit this behavior when we are taking something he shouldn't have away or are trying to put him outside or bathe him. Especially if he is suckling on his favorite stuffed toy. Last night I tried to undo his collar so he could breathe better and he growled and violently barked and snapped at me and got even more aggressive when I yelled "out" and pointed to the door. Up until that he had been sweet all night and we played for about an hour. My question is how can I combat his aggression and behaviors? He very clearly understands his place in the pack however specific instances are challenging. When I try to discipline him, he seems to only get worse. There are some indications he was abused (other than his living conditions when we got him) such as being afraid of and barking at aeresol cans, brooms, and large objects and cowering. He also cannot be near other dogs without getting aggressive. How can I remedy his bad behavior?
I'm not OCD....now who moved my bulldog?
Re: Bulldog aggressiv behavior
Hi there. You're dealing with a couple issues here. First off, a dogs personality/fears/inhibitions/behavior is formed during the socialization period between 3 and 12 weeks. So these issues stem from that time. The thing is - he CAN be retrained - it just takes a lot of patience and effort. Just because he is sweet and loving when HE feels like it, doesn't mean he thinks you are his boss. I would say he very clearly DOES NOT understand his place in the pack. If he did, he wouldn't be growling and snapping. An alpha will always get the toys, the food, the whatever. If you take it away - the alpha will react. So this tells me he believes he's the alpha here. If he didn't think he was - he'd have no problem with it since you're ALLOWING him have it because YOU are the alpha/leader. A trainer could help you with this, but i also might recommend some books from the Monks of New Skete. Dogs are really not that complicated once their fairly simple psychology is understood.
I would begin by changing the dynamics here. Making him earn everything. Not allowing him on the couch, not allowing him on the bed and not giving him anything freely unless he works for it. This way you are making it clear that he is not the leader here. Being afraid of cans, brooms, boxes, vacuums is very bulldog behavior. I purposely exposed my pup to everything i could when he was very young so he would not be afraid. I would give him treats when those objects come around and treat those objects like they were good and nice things that were nothing to be fearful of. He actually loves the vacuum now!
The biting is unacceptable. If it was me, I'd challenge him and win the battle. But some might not agree with that approach! And in some cases it might be dangerous and something a trainer would have to deal with. I have raised dogs my whole life and have a dominant personality. Most dogs recognize this and act accordingly. My sisters dog, for example, was very bad with resource guarding. He stayed with me for a weekend, and growled at me when I tried to take away a bully stick that wasn't his. My sister said "oh he's just like that." I didn't accept that and I took the bully stick and cornered and cowered over him when he flipped out. Once he submitted, I gave him a belly rub. Never had a problem since.
Re: Bulldog aggressiv behavior
You have some great info above. After trying these things, if he still has this behavior, then you may need to hire a trainer to help you.
Have a Great Bully Day.
Member of The Bulldog Club of America, The Bulldog Club of Texas and French Bulldog Club of America.
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